This week, we are letting you know all our favorite travel items that we don’t leave home without. Plus, we are doing our book report on Beach Read by Emily Henry and talking about what we are reading this month.
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Elsie’s five favorite travel items:
Emma’s five favorite travel items:
- Tiny containers for shampoo, conditioner, and face wash
- Agility pillow
- Luggage tag
- Eye drops, lip mask, and sunscreen
Books we are currently reading:
Emma – Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin and Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Elsie – The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffe and Cackle by Rachel Harrison
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Episode 196 Transcript:
Elsie: You’re listening to The Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week we’re letting you know all of our favorite travel items that we don’t leave home without. Plus, we’re doing a book report on Beach Read by Emily Henry. Awesome. I’m excited to talk about traveling. I can’t wait to go on a trip. Traveling sounds so cool, right now. Do you have any trips coming up?
Emma: Yeah, we are about to do a month-long trip with our son to Costa Rica.
Elsie: It’s his first time overseas, right?
Emma: It’s his first time overseas. Got his baby passport. It’s also his first time on a plane at all. Which, from where we live, it’s just two short flights, so it’s not too bad. But I will say like the layover is always the scary part, of like, what if we miss it or what if we don’t leave enough time or you know, I’ve never traveled with a kid before so I’m honestly pretty nervous about it. But I’m sure it’ll go great and if it doesn’t we will survive and it will probably be a funny story. So whatever, we’re just gonna spend time as a family and do this. But yes, I’m excited to use his baby passport ’cause it’s adorable. Very excited about it. And he will probably just watch way more movies than he is usually allowed to watch, so he’ll love it. He’ll have a blast. Do you guys have any trips? I feel like you guys moved back to Missouri. It’s time to use that grandma’s childcare and take a trip. Just the two of you? Haven’t done that in a while.
Elsie: Yes. Honestly, I’ve had a pretty overwhelming summer. So I haven’t thought ahead very much, but I think I want to start booking some trips for right after Christmas. I know we wanna go overseas soon. I know we want to go on some trips without kids, and then we also wanna take our kids some new places. So yeah, it’s gonna be good. Yeah. But at the moment, I feel like I’m still just like catching a breath from moving and everything. And my brain’s half melted, honestly.
Emma: No, I get it travel is like so exciting and fun, but it does not sound good to me whenever I’m like stressed or have gone through a season of a lot of change. It’s overwhelming. ’cause I feel like as an introvert you kind of have to, you kinda have to go through like the travel anxiety. And like being around a lot of people to like make that kind of thing happen, and it’s worth it. And it’s such a gift to get to travel when you do. And then also like, leaving your kids is hard and that’s like a different level of anxiety, but it’s also good and important and totally fine, they love grandma time, but you know, it’s like a little nerve-wracking. So yeah, it’s all the things. All of the feelings. But we’re not gonna talk about the feelings. We are gonna talk about travel items. So these are things that we don’t leave home. And some of mine are flight stuff, but some of mine are like road trip stuff ’cause I was just thinking travel generally.
Elsie: No, I love this topic. I had no problem thinking of five items. So this will be fun.
Emma: Okay. Well let’s go back and forth. What’s your first one? Mine are in no particular order. It’s not like favorite thing or whatever, it’s just random.
Elsie: My first thing is a kids’ thing. Last year we went on a trip to San Diego and we got these little kids, seashell collecting bags. They look like little dinosaurs and it’s just a mesh bag that you can put seashells into, and then the sand will fall through the mesh, so it’s like a little bit less messy. And they are so cute and the kids really enjoy doing it. And now we’re thinking of going to Florida soon and we were planning to bring the bags again so the kids are excited. And yeah, it’s just like a really fun thing for little kids, and really any age if you’re interested in collecting shells. It’s very sweet. So yeah, I will link them. It was definitely one of my, the good Amazon finds that I’ve ever found.
Emma: I love that. Yeah. I should get that for Oscar. Yeah. ’cause he loves sand. And he’s never really been to a beach with seashells. He’s never been to a beach. Our beach. You can’t take the shells, but you could collect, but then we’d have to make a catch-and-release system. At the end of the day, which I think we could implement he’d be fine with it. So we’d collect more tomorrow. Well, that’s fun. Okay. My first one was something that I didn’t do for years because I am cheap, but now I always travel with the tiny containers where you can put Oh, your shampoo, your face wash. I do a lot, actually a lot of skincare. ’cause I actually don’t care as much about shampoo and conditioner. Mm-hmm. I can buy like the travel size, whatever, or use, if we’re staying in an Airbnb, I just think they’re gonna have whatever. And I use that. But I, I bring quite a bit of skincare with me whenever I travel and I like to have my stuff ’cause you know, it’s like good for my skin. So I have those, I have the ones that are from Function of Beauty, but there are lots of really good ones. And it’s also just nice ’cause then I feel like there were so many years where I felt like I was just buying the travel size things and it’s just kind of a lot of plastic and you kind of will get like two-thirds done and then if you’re going on another trip you’re like, oh I guess I need to buy a whole nother one ’cause there’s is not enough, you know? So it just ends up being wasteful in a good way. So, I should have done that much sooner, but now I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years and I love them.
Elsie: I love that. Okay, so for any trip, I think it is essential to bring with you an audiobook, a fresh new audiobook and a paper book. So that you have both because I like to have the audiobook for like the flight. I’m a headphones person, I like to have on headphones when I’m in a crowd. Or, when I need to like zone out, disassociate from my body, or whatever. And then for, you know, obviously if you’re going, especially to like a place where you’re gonna have like a pool or a beach or really just any downtime, having a paper book is really good too. So I try to always have both options and then just like, see which one wins because it could go either way.
Emma: Yep. That was on my list too, books, and I pretty much am always bringing paper books. I don’t currently have an e-reader. I mean, I have a iPhone, so I could use that, I suppose, but I don’t have a Kindle or any of the other ones. I used to have a Kindle and then I feel like it broke or something, and I did like it. I’ve always just loved paper books. And so my travel thing is I always bring at least one more paper book than I think I’ll read. So a lot of times I have three or four with me, even if I’m only gone for like four days, which for me is too many books. I don’t need that many books. But it’s always a bummer if you end up like, oh, I could use one more book, but now I don’t have one, and I might be somewhere where I can’t buy one and I don’t have an E-reader where I could just download if I can find some wifi or whatever. So yeah, that’s kinda my travel thing. But of course, it does take up space, so you have to consider that. I also had this moment on my last trip, where I got the random security thing where they like to pull you aside and they go through all your stuff. And I only had to carry on with me. It wasn’t like a long trip, but they opened up my suitcase and I literally had five paper novels in there and she just kept pulling them out. And on the third one she kind of looked at me and I go, yeah, I was too ambitious about my reading because it’s too many books. But I only read like two of ’em.
Elsie: She’s probably thinking about the book. ’cause like, you know how if you see someone in public reading a book, you’ve read, you like wanna talk about it, but I always try not to, but I always want to.
Emma: Sometimes I do, sometimes I’ll just like point at someone if it’s like, ’cause you know that they’re like, I read that book. I’m like, oh yeah, we’re in a club.
Elsie: Nice. What’s your next one?
Emma: Okay, my next one is for road trips. I don’t really do this on flights ever, but if it’s a road trip, I will bring my agility pillow, which is, oh yeah, we talk about it before ’cause they’ve been a podcast sponsor in the past, but this is not sponsored. I’m just telling you. I love my side sleeper pillow. I sleep on it every night, and I don’t sleep as well on travel times because I don’t have my pillow, and that’s really what I need. So if I can fit it in the car, I’m bringing it. That’s where I’m at in life.
Elsie: That’s good. That’s a good one. Okay. I have finally got a perfect suitcase that I love. So the suitcase that I got is the cow pack hue front, pocket carry-on luggage. And the thing that I love about this specific suitcase is that it has like an outside pocket for your laptop. So it’s still hard and protected, but like it’s really easy to pull your laptop out. For when you’re, you know, going on the belt and stuff, and they also just like come in beautiful colors. And I think Calak in general has like really like, just like cute, like aesthetically pleasing travel bags. They have toiletries and all that stuff. So anyway, that is mine.
Emma: Speaking of suitcases, if you haven’t done this, you should, you should always have one of those tags on the outside of your suitcase.
Elsie: Oh, I don’t have that.
Emma: That’s your contact information. And a lot of times I think people don’t do it on their carry-on suitcases ’cause they’re like, I’m carrying it on so it’s not gonna get lost, you know, if I was checking it, sometimes it gets lost. But here’s the thing, and this is an embarrassing story to tell. I’m gonna ahead and tell you. There was one time I was coming back from Costa Rica with you. This was years and years ago. Mm-hmm. And we were going through like the customs and they had this like shoot where people would send their check bags down and I thought that we were just supposed to send all our bags through it, like it was like a x-ray scanner thing and you’re just supposed to put your suitcase in there and scan it. Mine was a carry-on and it didn’t have my contact information on it ’cause it was a carry-on and I thought I didn’t need it, and I put it in that shoot and then all of a sudden it went down to wherever all the check bags went and I still had to catch my flight and I didn’t have my suitcase. I was on the way home luckily, and my suitcase did make it home, I have no idea how. I really don’t know how they figured it out. They must have opened it up and found something about Springfield or something. But it did make it home to me. But ever since then, I always have a tag on the outside of my suitcase. That’s like my contact information just in case something happens.
Elsie: Well, let’s put one of those in the show notes ’cause I definitely need to buy one.
Emma: They make really cute ones. And you can get ’em like colorful or different things. So it kind of can help you identify your bag if it is a checked bag. You know how sometimes your suitcase can look like everybody else’s, so it could be good for that too.
Elsie: Cool. That’s smart. Okay, so my next one is a twofer. So I have a certain favorite sound machine, and we’re like crazy for these sound machines. We have about, I don’t know, like six or eight of them.
Emma: We have two of them in our house right now. Yeah. Just for Oscar.
Elsie: We had one for every bedroom in our regular house and then a couple in the pink house. And then somehow over time, we ended up with like extra ones per traveling. I don’t know why or how they’re just like everywhere but they are, they’re the greatest sound machines. They do make a little miniature travel version. I usually just travel with the big one ’cause I can fit it. I don’t think it’s that big.
Emma: It’s not that big.
Elsie: Yeah. But they do have like a really small one too, so I’ll link that. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say if it’s like loud enough, but it’s probably definitely better than nothing. Anytime I have to sleep in a hotel room, especially if I’m by myself with no sound at all, it’s so hard for me now that I’m used to, you know, a certain sound. And then our other thing that we love to travel with is the Yto mini players. They’re like our kids, little, it’s kids, audiobook players. So all you need is the little players and then a pair of headphones for each kid and the cards. So they sell lots of different cards with different stories. There is a way you can make your own cards from any kid’s audiobook, which is nice. It’s very unlimited. They honestly have plenty. We have probably 50 like there’s a lot. They’re just everywhere.
Emma: I didn’t even buy Nova some for her birthday ’cause I was like, she’s got so many.
Elsie: Yeah, you kind of can’t find ones that we haven’t already bought, but there are still more all the time. And the cool thing about it is they’re also making more all the time. So even since we’ve been using them for a couple of years, they’ve come out with way more.
Emma: I feel like once you have the player too, that would be a good one for giving them a new couple of cards before the trip or having those in your bag as like kind of an emergency, things are not going well, we got delayed. Here’s something special, you know, kind of thing to like to help them through, you know, travel hard moment that a kid might not understand because they’re like, why are we doing this? You know? It’s like, well ’cause we’re stuck.
Elsie: Yeah. We kind of had an experience recently where we had like a second iPad fail, and we only use our iPads for traveling. So it’s really not a necessary item in our household at all. We had already bought one within the past year, and then another one failed, and we were like, then we tried a trip with just the Yto instead of the iPads, and it worked for us. So I think that it’s just kind of like a nice replacement, it’s like an entertaining thing they can do. They have headphones, they can do it, you know, on an airplane, in a car, anywhere you are. But you know, iPads, I don’t know. I just think that they’re too expensive to be like a kid’s toy or something, like they’re kind of, they kind of get on my nerves and we were having a problem of like, it wasn’t keeping the downloaded stuff on there, and it was just too stressful. My poor husband, he can’t handle that kind of thing.
Emma: Yeah. He’s like, I don’t wanna be the. The tech guy for the whole trip.
Elsie: He’s losing it, bad.
Emma: I would, because I’m like, I don’t know how to make this work and I have no backup plan. I also think that when you’re on a plane or if you’re in a road trip situation and it’s dark, I feel like the screens are kind of bright. You can turn it down, but I still feel like it’s just kind of. An option where you can just listen is nice, I guess is what I’m trying to say. It sounds like a good fit for certain situations.
Elsie: I can’t say enough good things about it because they have listened to, you know, like every single little Beverly Cleary book. Right now they’re listening to James and the Giant Peach. They have Magic Treehouse. They have so many good, like high-quality books that are a little bit above one of their reading level, a little bit above, and then the other one can’t even read. And she’s listening to these books all the time that are way above her level. So I think that it’s such a good thing.
Emma: Yeah. No, I love it. That sounds great.
Elsie: What’s your next one?
Emma: Okay, my last one was, this is what I consider like life essentials. So this is like what I put in my backpack that like I don’t let go of, unless it like has to go through a scanner or something, like I’m not gonna lose it. ’cause I need these in case things go awry and it is eye drops, lip mask, sunscreen ’cause yes, I would like to have my makeup with me all the time, but if all else fails, these are the things that I feel like I really need. ’cause for whatever reason, maybe I’m a mouth breather, but I feel like I have chapped lips all the time, so I have to have my lip mask. It’s basically my chapstick and eye drops I’ve mentioned before, I have chronically dry eyes. It’s very annoying and I feel like if I don’t have eye drops, especially if I’m in situations where I need to drive or I need to be doing things, and it’s very sunny, maybe we’re on some kind of vacation. I don’t know, I just have sensitive eyes and it’s just way worse. So I’m like, I need my eyedrops, and then you need sunscreen. That’s obvious, I mean, you should wear sunscreen every day. That’s just a given, but especially if you’re gonna be out and about, you know, vacationing or whatever. But I think you need it every day, no matter what you’re doing ’cause it’s very important for skincare and health.
Elsie: Yeah, no, definitely. That’s a good one. My final selection I love the fanny pack, so I think you can also call them belt bags. So I have two, I have one that’s more like a fall time one that is from Rebecca Minkoff, and it was like, it had little stars or something. What did it have on it? I can’t remember. I don’t know, but I felt like it was a little bit witchy looking. Had like some little studs on it. I think it was just stars or something. And then I got a summer one. My summer version is, I love it from Clair V., and it’s just like a woven leather bag, it kinda makes it look checkered. It’s like a brown and tan-colored one, so I’ll link that in the show notes. I feel like they’re a little bit expensive for I think they’re in the medium. I don’t know. It’s like, definitely not like a designer bag, but it’s also definitely not like a Madewell bag, like somewhere in the middle of that. But I feel like I just use them so much. It’s like my main like mom purse, I will have a big bag that’s kind of like a reusable grocery bag or a beach bag or something like that for traveling, and then I’ll have these for just like to be like, these go with me on my walk and kind of everywhere. As soon as I graduated up from not needing a diaper bag, I have not used anything but these bags for the past few years. So I think they’re great for travel, but also I do not use them.
Emma: Yeah. I also love it, I travel with a fanny pack too, and I use them in regular life too.
Elsie: But it’s not like a fanny pack on your waist. I do wear it the other way.
Emma: Yeah, I wear it. The cross-body. Mine is technically a fanny pack, but I’ve never worn it that way ’cause I don’t feel like that way looks good.
Elsie: But can you even, I don’t even know if you can.
Emma: Yours doesn’t, I guess you could.
Elsie: It’s not meant to be that way.
Emma: No. Yeah. It’s more of an over-chest bag, you know? But I was gonna say, what I like about them is, you know, there are moments where you’re supposed to condense your bags. If you’re just doing carry-ons, it fits really easily into a backpack compared to other purses. So I think it’s a nice fit, ’cause then it’s like you can pull it outta your bag pretty easily. If you are leaving your stuff with your partner and you’re just gonna go to the bathroom or buy some snacks, you don’t have to take everything, but you can put it back in the backpack for when you need to condense your stuff to get on the flight. And they’re like, ma’am, you have too many bags, and you’re like, no problem. I’ll just shove this tiny one inside my backpack. Problem solve.
Elsie: One time we were on this one airline and they said I had too many bags, but there was nothing I could do about it. There was no consolidating whatsoever that was possible. So I put it under my shirt, and for some reason they let me go like that.
Emma: She probably was like, well, what else is she gonna do?
Elsie: It was just like a full backpack under my shirt, just to be like, does that work? And they were like, yes. And I was like, okay. I was like, that’s so annoying. Like, don’t you think?
Emma: I think they’re having mercy on you. They were like, all right, she has no other plan.
Elsie: Maybe they knew that there was no option. Do you remember that trip?
Emma: I do. ’cause I think you had a book that I had to put under my shirt. You probably don’t remember because I know I wasn’t, ’cause Elsie also used to travel with full-size scissors all the time, back when we used to travel for work a lot together. And I would get so mad at you. I was always like, check your bag. Do you have any scissors? And you’re like, no, I don’t. And then we’d go through security and they’d be like ma’am, it was a giant fabric scissors that would be in your bag. And I’m like, Why, why, why?
Elsie: Yeah, it’s a harmless pair of sewing scissors, though.
Emma: They’re very big though. They look menacing in the wrong context. So the scissors look scary. But yeah, in regular life you’re like, oh yeah, you just cutting some yarn, making a weaving. Who knows?
Elsie: It’s not even the weapon I would choose in my house.
Emma: Yeah, yeah. Well, they’re also expensive. Anyway, okay, so that’s our travel stuff. Now we’re gonna move on to talk about our other selection for the summer book club.
Elsie: Awesome. Yay, okay.
Emma: Which was Beach Read by Emily Henry?
Elsie: Yeah. I love Emily Henry so much. She’s like, not on the bestseller list recently. And I think that she’s just like her own category. She’s become her own category of romcom books and they’re so cute. They’re all delightful. So Beach Read is one of, I think it’s maybe one of the more popular ones. I just think her titles are so cute. Like they’re all so like memorable and cute.
Emma: Yes. This was the second Emily Henry book I read and delightful. Yeah, just what you said. I would completely agree. I just love her books. I’m looking forward to the next one. I’m trying to not do the thing where I just read all one author for a while, even though I know I will love all of her books. Just because then I’ll be all out of ’em and I’ll be sad. So I like to spread them out more. But for anyone who hasn’t read, Beach Read, I would say what it’s about is there are two authors. One is a woman and she’s a rom-com writer, possibly Emily Henry. No, I’m just kidding. It’s not a fictional character. And then the other writer is a man and he writes literary fiction. He’s very serious. And they’ve met before in college, we find out. But then one summer they end up being neighbors because she moves into this house that’s been given to her by her father who’s just died, and he happens to be the neighbor. And so their old rivalry and kind of dislike for one another starts up again and morphs over the summer as they have this kind of writing challenge that they make each other do, and they become close and become good friends. And then maybe even lovers by the end of the book. You probably know what’s gonna happen if you know this kind of book.
Elsie: Enemies to Lovers. It’s what it is.
Emma: Always how it should go. No, I don’t know. It’s fun because, so the main character, writes about love, and in the very beginning of the book and throughout a lot of the book, she’s very disillusioned about it because she’s kind of pulled back the curtain at her father’s funeral she’s confronted with the fact that he had an affair and she meets at the funeral, the woman he had an affair with. And her mother has battled cancer a number of times. And so there’s all these kinds of feelings swirling inside her about love and betrayal and about someone being something different than you thought. But I think also her character deeply loves her father and misses him. And so it’s kind of, you know, meshed up with her grief, you know, learning this big fact and then having to go live in the house because she’s so poor, she just has to live there that summer. And also dealing with the grief of losing a parent who you loved and who you’re very close to. So there’s sort of a lot there. And then she has this neighbor who she’s like assumes is kind of judging her and thinks that her art, the way that she writes, and the things she writes about are stupid and it’s actually not what he really thinks. And she sort of discovers that over time and he gets to show her another side of himself and that he’s actually kind of just seems pretty genuine and like, You know, just writes about what he writes about, but he’s sort of emo and the book that he’s working on is about like a cult where everybody dies, I think. So it’s very different types of styles and types of writing, but I think they find a lot of commonality and, you know, fiction and making things up. I loved their love story though so much. I thought it was beautiful. And I also really loved how the author. Kind of lets us see the messiness of love with the father’s affair. And then we sort of, we meet the woman that he had an affair with and she rounds her out into a whole person with a real life who isn’t just the other woman. Air quotes. Yeah. And I really liked that because I think a lot of times in art, sometimes in the past, especially we’ve made affairs or things of that nature, we always make the woman the villain, and we also just make it like she’s a homewrecker and that’s that. And it’s like, well, a lot of times there’s a bigger story than that and it’s a lot more complicated than that. And it turns out people are very complicated, and I think that this book does a great job kind of peeling that back and letting us see that love and life is messy and complicated, but it’s still beautiful and meaningful. And so I really liked that part of the book too.
Elsie: Emma, I think that was like, that was beautiful.
Emma: Thanks. Beach Read what a deep book. Actually kinda was.
Elsie: Yeah. I really liked it.
Emma: Yeah, it’s fun. And then she’s also, like I said, I’ve only read two of her books.
Elsie: Wait, what was the other one you read?
Emma: Book Lovers. Did you read that one?
Elsie: Oh no.
Emma: It’s like a literary agent and someone who works at a publishing house, a publisher, and they kind of fall in love, and they also kind of hate each other, but then fall in love. What she does a lot is, I feel like her characters have a lot of like quirky things about them. Like just random weird things. Like in this book, they go line dancing and there’s also this part where she’s like getting drunk with like this bottle of wine from her purse. ’cause she’s a little depressed and she just calls it like purse wine. And just like little things where you’re like, oh, that’s funny, and feels very true to life.
Elsie: Purse wine is definitely real.
Emma: Yeah. I was like, why don’t I have wine in my purse? Oh ’cause I only have a fanny pack and it’d only be canned wine. ’cause that’s all that could fit. But still, yeah, it’s really fun, very lighthearted, but I think had some deeper things in it that I really enjoyed. And yeah, I love a love story. It’s a good amount of sex in the book, the right amount if you ask me, I would take a little more thought too, but if it’s not a criticism that’s just, I’m a horny person, I don’t know, but. But yeah, loved it. Five stars, 10 out 10 beaches. It’s a lake beach, by the way.
Elsie: Yeah. I was surprised that it wasn’t really about a beach. It’s like it’s hard to a beach at all.
Emma: I don’t really think of lake beaches as beaches. Like I live kind of near lakes like, you know. I don’t really think of those like if you’re like, we’re going to the beach this weekend, I’d be like, oh, you’re going to Florida.
Elsie: The beaches at the Missouri Lakes are not beaches for sure.
Emma: I just think of it as like going to the lake.
Elsie: There’s probably some that are closer than that.
Emma: Yeah. Well, we have direct flights to Florida, so if someone was like, I’m gonna the beach this weekend, I would immediately think they’re like, yes, going to Florida, going to some ocean, you know? Yeah. But anyway, loved it.
Elsie: Well, yeah. Any Emily Henry book is welcome with me. I think she’s so cute.
Emma: I agree.
Elsie: Yeah, so that was our last summer book club selection. So pretty soon, probably within the next few weeks, we’ll announce the fall book selection. So if you have any requests, I would love to hear them, send them to us at [email protected]. We love hearing your request. We always try to include at least one fiction and one nonfiction, and we’ll probably do a couple more since it’s fall. I always wanna like put my favorite books in there. Anyway, send us your request and we would love to consider any of them, but I do think we’ll make ’em a little bit spooky since it’s fall time.
Emma: So send us your best witches, zombies, goblins, whatever. Yeah, we’re interested.
Elsie: Not goblins.
Emma: I don’t even know what a goblin is. What is a goblin?
Elsie: Whiched, vampires and spooky. General spooky.
Emma: General spooky. I wish that was a section at the library. General spooky. I’d be like, yes.
Elsie: Spooky, et cetera.
Emma: Upmarket, spooky, interested.
Elsie: Okay, so before we go, let’s talk about like a book or two we’ve been reading recently. You go first.
Emma: Okay. I have one audiobook that I recently finished and then one paper book I’m reading. So audiobook is I finally listen to Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, which Elsie said was one of her favorite books of all time, and so I had to listen to it, and I loved it. It’s beautiful. It is about video games, but it’s about so much more. I think it’s about deep, meaningful relationships beyond just romance and it’s also kind of about like chronic pain disabilities. And then I think about being young and building things. And that’s really cool.
Elsie: The creativity of starting a business from nothing and following it for more than 10 years.
Emma: Yeah. Yeah. So it was really masterful. Beautiful book, and loved it. And I don’t always like books that are a little bit on the melancholy side, but this one hit a spot for me where I was like, it is a little melancholy. There were definitely moments where I was like listening to it while I was out on a walk, and I’m just bawling. But I loved it and would very much recommend it to anyone. It’s just beautiful. Love that one. And then I’m about halfway through a book called Truly Devious, which is a series. It’s a mystery series, and it is about this very special two-year program. It’s kind of for high schoolers who are gifted in different areas, and a very rich man, a long time ago built this special school, this academy, and the gifted students go there. But, his family, his wife, and his daughter were kidnapped and probably murdered. I don’t know if they ever found the bodies though. I’m not really sure about that. So anyway, one of the characters, she’s been accepted into the school and her thing is forensics and true crime and solving, mysteries. And that’s what she intends to do figure out what happened with those two people and with the family of this academy. And it’s called Truly Devious because the person who originally, or the people who kidnapped did the kidnapping, had left a kind of ransom letter and they signed it truly devious. So she’s doing her detective work.
Elsie: Is it good?
Emma: It is really good. And there’s all these different, it’s like high schoolers. High schoolers who have weird gifts. So one’s like a famous YouTuber, one’s like writing books. One’s like making machines, like she’s building robots basically. It’s just very quirky, very fun, and yeah, I really, really like it. It took a minute to get into ’cause there are kind of a lot of characters, but I also love a kid who’s like solving mysteries but like in a serious way. It’s just fun for me, it totally hits a cozy, sweet spot for me. I’m like, kid murder she wrote interested. So I’m loving it and I’m happy that it’s a series ’cause I like kind of know, however it gets wrapped up, there’s gonna be more and I’m excited about that.
Elsie: Nice. Yeah. That’s a good feeling.
Woo. Okay, so last week I finished this book called The Wishing Game, and it was, I brought it to Emma immediately. Even though we were like meeting at the swimming pool, I was like, here’s a novel you must read.
Emma: And I was like, did you see they have a little free library inside the bathroom at the pool? In a plastic tub? I already got two things out of it this summer. It’s awesome.
Elsie: That was cute. Yeah, I know. I have noticed that people at that pool are always reading really good books. So yeah, this book, for me, was perfect. It was like if someone made a book just for me, I’m being very self-centered, but it’s my review, so I guess I can. It felt okay, so it has, I don’t wanna spoil it. Yeah. I don’t wanna spoil it in any way, but I’ll just say what I really loved about it. It has art. It has like an artist, an art that I loved. I loved reading about it. I loved hearing about it. Every single thing about the art I loved. And then it has a writer with a long career writing books for middle-grade children that I loved. And it like gave me so much every single. Well, both of those characters gave me so much FOMO. It was like, I wanna be an artist and I wanna be a writer. And it was like the whole time I was just dying of FOMO, which for me means that it was very sensory and very strong and like very magical. And it just like made me feel envious, which is good. That’s something that I like to feel and really don’t feel like all that much. And then it also had a little haunted mansion type of house in the book. So it had all of those things, and they were very descriptive about it and it was very good. It was a very good house. So yeah, all those things, and I will say it was like I’ve read a lot of really. Good books that I would say are my, like a little mini shelf of favorites. And it’s like, I couldn’t pick just one favorite, but this book, I was like waking up every day with like, my first thought was that I wanted to read the book. That is a good feeling. I think when you just like, cannot wait, cannot stop thinking about it. Cannot stop obsessing over like when you’re gonna have another little break for the book.
Emma: Like, I can’t wait to fold my laundry so I can listen to my book. This one you read though.
Elsie: Exactly. Yeah. Oh, and then I’m currently reading this book called Cackle, it’s a witch book. So, it was sold to me as like, this is a fun little witch read with a lot of food and a lot of cooking. So, yeah, Emma always really likes a lot of food and cooking. I knew you would like that, and it does have that. I’m like I would say a little more than halfway through it, so I couldn’t really review it yet, but I’m very much enjoying it and I kind of think I love, like Spooky is my everything, but I’ve read a lot of witch books that were unsatisfying to me and I do think it’s a hard category and so far I think this book is pretty good. So that’s a good review in and of itself. So yeah, reading is great. That’s our little reading update.
Emma: Reading is great. Truly.
Elsie: Yes. Okay, so I’m gonna pass it off to our next segment, joke or a fact with Nova. Hey Nova, welcome back to the podcast. Do you have a joke for us this week or a fact?
Nova: I have a joke.
Nova: What is a witch’s favorite subject in school?
Elsie: Ohh, what is it?
Elsie: Spelling. I love it. That’s funny. That’s awesome. Do you know any spells?
Nova: Not yet.
Elsie: Not yet. Aw. Thanks for coming, Nova.
Emma: Okay, well, thanks so much for listening. If you have any questions or podcast ideas or book recommendations for the Autumn Book selections, then you can email us at [email protected] and we’re always accepting voicemail questions. You can call us. Leave a voicemail at 417-893-0011. We’ll be back next week with another deep dive.